Let the Awards Begin
Leadership Ceremony Honors Excellence at the Mount
Excitement has been swirling around campus as Mount Saint Vincent approaches the end of another academic year. With Commencement less than two weeks away, students are gearing up to walk across the stage on the Great Lawn, claiming their place as college graduates.
But before the pomp and circumstance—and between final papers, tests, and presentations—Mount students are being awarded for excellence in and outside the classroom.
Most recently, the College hosted the Student Affairs Awards Ceremony on May 7, recognizing students, clubs, organizations, advisors, and administrators for their contributions to the campus and to the Mount community.
“Developing our student leaders is a crucial part of our mission in Student Affairs,” said Dr. Gabrielle Occhiogrosso, Dean of Students. “Our Student Affairs Awards Ceremony celebrates their involvement, development, and achievement throughout the year. While certain students are awarded and recognized for specific reasons at the event, our ceremony celebrates what all of our student leaders choose to do in the hours that they are outside the classroom. Each year, I am in awe at how much time they give to their activities and am so proud to see how much they achieve.”
After welcoming attendees and beginning the event’s program, members of the campus community helped to give more than 20 awards celebrating students who have distinguished themselves through their campus involvement, academic rigor, and community service.
Esther Omisore ’20 took home the Emerging Leader of the Year award for her participation and volunteerism, as her efforts are already making a difference in the community and across campus. Kayla Gutierrez ’19 was honored with the Phin Pride Award, celebrating her enthusiastic support and pride in our campus community. Roger Sanabria ’21 was recognized with the Student Government Leadership Award for his outstanding work within the Student Government Association and his commitment to creating positive change throughout the campus community. And in recognition of outstanding leadership, innovation, motivation, initiative, and perseverance, Leslie Peralta ’19 was honored as the Student Leader of the Year, recognizing her success in and outside the classroom, and her willingness to always go above and beyond—truly exemplifying how to balance college expectations with being a leader.
Katherine Perez ’19 made two trips up to the podium—she received the Club, Organization, Class Leader of the Year award, as well as the Frédéric Ozanam Award, given to a student who lives out the ideals of Frédéric Ozanam. Founder of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, Frédéric dedicated his life to bringing young people together to assist the most vulnerable among them, truly living out the Gospel of Matthew: “Whatsoever you do to the least of these…you do unto me.”
The College, a Sisters of Charity institution committed to the Vincentian and Setonian tradition, was also pleased to honor three soon-to-be graduates for their dedication to serving others. Mikaela-Rose Blanchard ’19 was the recipient of the Vincent de Paul Award for her commitment to service and leadership, particularly with the vulnerable among us. Kayla Ortiz ’19 was the recipient of the Louise de Marillac Award as she shares a similar sense of spirituality and service as Louise de Marillac, co-founder of the Daughters of Charity. And Jessica Gamez ’19 was the recipient of the Elizabeth Seton Award for her embodiment of the attributes of the Sisters of Charity: humility, simplicity, and charity.
Mount student athletes were also recognized at the event, exemplifying what it means to be an NCAA Division III athlete, while also committing to a well-rounded collegiate experience. Alanna Alioto-Reyes ’20 and Isidoros Bartziokas ’21 were recognized with Scholar Athlete of the Year awards, bestowed to students who demonstrate outstanding achievement in both sports and academics. Freshman Patrick Nagy ’22 took the men’s lacrosse program by storm this season—he won the Rookie Student Athlete of the Year for his dedication to his sport, which also saw him break three College records over the course of 16 games. And Tara Maloney ’20 was honored as this year’s top athlete as she took home the Athlete of the Year award. A tremendous outside hitter for the women’s volleyball team, Tara has numerous Skyline Conference accolades—including Rookie of the Year, First Team All-Skyline, and Player of the Year—and was the driving force behind the Dolphins’ run to not only the Skyline Conference Championship, but the 2018 NCAA Volleyball Tournament.
Many awards also honored our student leaders who dedicate time and outstanding leadership service within the Office of Housing and Residence Life. Renato Pangan ’21 received the Community Developer of the Year award for creating engaging programs and establishing the best community for his residents, while Brittany Martinez Coste ’21 won Rookie of the Year, given to a Resident Assistant who has developed and grown into the position for the academic year. Mahamadou Magiraga ’21 and Silpa Radhakrishnan ’20 were both honored with the Platinum Award, given to the Resident Assistant—and in this case, Resident Assistants—who are always present and willing to lend a helping hand even when they are not on duty. And the highest award in this category, the Resident Assistant of the Year, was bestowed upon Daniella Bodden ’20, as she has exceeded expectations in every aspect of her role.
Two administrators were also honored for their work and dedication to fostering growth and development of Mount students. Pamela Kerrigan, Director for the Division of Natural Sciences and Associate Professor of Chemistry, was recognized for her service, time, and expertise as Advisor of the Year for the Science Club and Ryan Anderson, Director for Facilities, received the James McCory Servant Leadership Award. James McCory, a 2017-2018 recipient of this award, was a beloved member of the Mount community. This award is given to an individual at the College who has served as a mentor to students in our commitment to educating the whole person.
The event’s other award recipients were:
Outstanding Club/Organization of the Year: Samahan, Filiment Dance Troupe
Outstanding Club/Organization/Class Event of the Year: Avengers: Endgame, Sponsored by Samahan, the Anime Video Game Club, the Class of 2020, and the Class of 2022
Class of the Year: Class of 2019
After the award ceremony, the event also saw the inauguration of the 2019-2020 Student Government Association officers, signifying the beginning of a new term.
“This ceremony brings all of our student leaders together and allows us to simply say ‘thank you’ for all their hard work, dedication, creativity, and contributions to life at the Mount,” said Fernando Mendoza, Director for Student Activities, Leadership, and Commuter Life. “Mount students deserve recognition. Each year we see a new crop of leaders come in and create innovative clubs and programs, and add so much to our vibrant campus life—we couldn’t be more proud of their work!”
About the College of Mount Saint Vincent
Founded in 1847 by the Sisters of Charity, the College of Mount Saint Vincent offers nationally recognized liberal arts education and a select array of professional fields of study on a landmark campus overlooking the Hudson River. Committed to the education of the whole person, and enriched by the unparalleled cultural, educational, and career opportunities of New York City, the College equips students with the knowledge, skills, and experiences necessary for lives of achievement, professional accomplishment and leadership in the 21st century.